A rough shooting night , the Golden Rams shot just 27.6% from the floor, and bad late game decision-making put the nail in the coffin of the Albany State women’s hoops team as they fell to Lance College, 53-50 in the opening round of the SIAC Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Albany State fell on their collective faces, coming out of the locker room, shooting just 3-13 and committing 7 turnovers in a first quarter that saw them only score 9 points and greatly contributed to the 19-9 deficit the Golden Rams found themselves in after 10 minutes of play.
The offensive futility infected both teams in the second quarter ; the teams combined to shoot 6-29 ( 3-14 for ASU and 3-15 for Lane). However the 9 turnovers the Dragons committed helped limit them to just 6 points in the period and allowed the Golden Rams to put a dent in the 10 point lead Lane enjoyed as the onset of the quarter, as they would carry a 25-21 advantage heading into halftime.
Lane got up by as much as seven points in the third quarter at 36-29 on a Kayla Simmons jumper with 5:32 left in the period. Albany State went on a 8-0 run over 3:02 , culminating with a pair of Milana Holmes free throws to take a 37-36 lead. Cartesian Griggs’ layup put the Dragons back out in front at 38-37, but another pair of free throws from Holmes put the Golden Rams back in command at 39-38, and that was a lead Albany State would take into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was a close affair, with the biggest lead being a 47-42 lead that came on a three-pointer from Kashay Hankerson with 5:34 left in the contest. Free throws from Griggs and a Braiyn Tate layup shaved the Albany State lead down to a single point. Lane tied the game at 48 on free throws from Jordyn Neal with 2:02 left in the quarter. Tate’s layup put Lane up 50-48 but, Albany State squared the game at 50 on a layup from Holmes with 0:41 to go. An ill-timed fouls by Unique Miller put Griggs on the line with 0:11 to go ; she split the pair , putting Lane up 51-50. After Albany State’s go-ahead attemps failed ,Simmons was back at the charity stripe and knocked down a pair, putting the Dragons up 53-50. The Golden Rams’ game-typing possession was unsuccessful and Lane survived to advance to the next round, where they will face, the no.1 seed out of the Eastern Division, the Panthers of Clark Atlanta Wednesday at 2:30 pm EST.
Kayla Simmons lead two Dragons scorers in double figures with 18 points on 8-14 from the floor; Brailyn Tate had a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Milana Holmes was the only Albany State player in double figures with 23 points and also grabbed 9 rebounds; no other ASU players scored more than 8 points.
For the Lady Rams, this is likely the end of the road for the 2022-23 season; they finished with an 8-18 overall record and 6-13 in the SIAC.